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U.S. outraged by killing of anti-government activists in Iraq -State Department

WASHINGTON, Aug 20 (Reuters) - The U.S. State Department said on Thursday it was outraged by the assassination of civil society activists in Iraq and by attacks on protesters in Baghdad and Basra.

"We urge the Government of Iraq to take immediate steps to hold accountable the militias, thugs, and criminal gangs attacking Iraqis exercising their right to peaceful protest," State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement. (Reporting by Eric Beech; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)